"Why do I get the feeling you're going to be the death of me?"It is common for long-running series to feature Call Backs, in which characters make a quick Shout-Out to an event that happened earlier in the series. This provides a nice reference for long term fans to pick up on and helps establish a sense of continuity — after all, the characters should remember the things that they've done in the past. The inversion of this is a Call Forward, when a character in a prequel makes an offhand comment about something that viewers know will happen in the future, but the character him or herself is unaware of. Usually this takes the form of a derisive statement like "X? That's the Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard", where X is a major theme in the series. Done well, this can be a good inside joke in the same sense as a Call Back or even provide an explanation for why something happens in the future, but done badly it can seem bizarre that the character would say something like that. If the predictive statement appears in a work released before the event it predicts, this is Foreshadowing or a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment. If the story is set in the past and the prediction is of a real-life event, then this often overlaps with It Will Never Catch On or This Is Going To Be Huge. Flashback to Catchphrase can be related, especially if it's preceded by "I'm only going say this once..." or "I can't believe I'm saying this, but..." Compare and contrast Tempting Fate.
Works with their own pages
- Ace Attorney
- Better Call Saul
- The DCU
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution
- El Goonish Shive
- The Hobbit
- Kingdom Hearts
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
- Star Trek: Enterprise
- Star Wars
- Vaguely Recalling JoJo
- X-Men: First Class
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Anime & Manga
- Due to Berserk's In Medias Res beginning and frequent use of flashbacks, There are several scenes referencing events that were already shown to the audience but that haven't happened yet chronologically:
- Shortly before and during the Eclipse, we see three Apostles from the first three volumes of Berserk - the nameless female demon that has sex with Guts (in disguise, of course), the Baron of Koka Castle, and The Count. Guts' fights with these monsters took place after the Golden Age Arc, chronologically, but were among the first shown to the audience.
- The three-episode story Spring Flowers of Distant Days simultaneously manages to include Call Back and Call Forward. The Viscount's son that Guts is forced to fight is patterned after Bazuso, being a stout warrior in full armor with round eyeholes and a heavy weapon; the audience has already seen Guts' fight with Bazuso, but chronologically it has't happened yet. At the same time, Martino's resemblance to Gambino causes Guts to experience flashbacks to his cruel mentor, who was already portrayed in the early volumes and is dead by that point in the chronology.
- In Soul Eater Not!, the prequel to Soul Eater, Kim is called the "witch of the girls' dormitory" because she is mean to the other students in the girls' dormitory. It was revealed around chapter 50 of Soul Eater proper that Kim is actually a witch.
- The "old lady" that acts as the DWMA mission receptions makes an appearance in Not!, where she explains she was a student in the EAT class, and even though she's retired she'll be quick to jump to the front lines if the students ever need her. In the main manga she had already done so, joining the fight in the last arc of the series, and had already been killed.
- The first chapter of Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium World is set before the original Yu-Gi-Oh. Sugoroku Muto (Yugi's grandpa) is a skilled gamer that says that if he ever loses a game, he'll trade his suit and fedora for a pair of overalls and a bandanna, and will open a game store. Apparently he lost.
- Due to Anachronic Order, the anime version of The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya has this. Even if watched in chronological order, there are still a few of these, mostly because the light novels the series was adapting were ahead of the anime, so the producers knew exactly what was coming.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Movie 1st The Comics, a later retelling of the first season, added a scene where Fate talks about barrier-piercing strategies with Linith. One of the tactics brought up by Fate was the idea of creating a massive blade of concentrated magic that she could use to slice through her opponent's barrier, something Linith says wasn't a good idea for the still small Fate, but would be a great technique for Fate in the future when she's grown enough to wield it effectively. This was a reference to an attack Fate acquired at the end of the second season, but didn't master enough to use frequently until the third season when she was already an adult.
- Genbu Warriors Hikitsu and Tomite of Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden made offhand comments indicating how it's impossible to meet The Suzaku Warriors of Fushigi Yuugi since it's most likely they're a couple of hundred years apart.
- In the Saint Beast OVAs, young Kira and Maya are searching around the treasury and find the twins of Saint Beast weapons that will eventually be used to brainwash Goh, Shin, Rey, and Gai to betray their friends.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, veritable redtube of Continuity Porn that it is, has a few nods to future Gundam shows, such as Mobile Suit Gundam F91 (the transforming tank MS Loto being a prototype of the Guntank R-44, Banagher having a part time job at a company owned by the Ronah family), Hathaway's Flash (the Kshatriya R's Funnel Missiles being a forerunner of a weapon that appears in the novel, and the Gustav Karl mobile suit makes a brief appearance) and even the obscure novel and radio play Gaia Gear which was assumed to be non-canon (both feature a Federation counter-terrorist group called the Manhunters).
- Dragon Ball SD, being a full colour remake/parody of the Dragon Ball manga has a number of call forwards to later events in the series.
- The David Production anime of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, which came out while Part 8 was being written, has references to later storylines that didn't exist when the manga was being written.
- The Joestar family birthmark, which became a plot point in Part 3, is visible on Johnathan and Joseph in Parts 1 and 2 respectively.
- The opening for Part 2 shows thorny vines over a silhouette of Joseph, referencing his Stand Hermit Purple, which he won't get for another 50 years in-universe.
- In Part 5 Polnareff has a photograph of the group from Part 3, which was never mentioned before; the anime version of Part 3 shows them actually taking the photo.
- Also in the Part 3 anime, DIO is shown to be in possession of the Bow and Arrow, which were introduced in Part 4.
- One chapter of GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class involves five past-era lookalikes of the present main cast.
Yayoi, the Kisaragi lookalike: (to Sanae-chan, the mannequin) One day, even if this class is gone... you will stay here forever, right?
- Nogi, the Noda lookalike, is designing school uniforms of the future. Despite Yayoi's inability to picture it, one is pretty much exactly what present-day Ayanoi students wear.
- There's a new teacher, Koshino-sensei. She was introduced in volume 3 as the fashion teacher with a not-wholly-undeserved reputation for being harsh.
- There are also rumors about Geijutsuka C Class, the fashion department, being dissolved, or possibly just being absorbed into the painting class. By the present day, the latter has happened.
- Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days: One of the prizes for collecting enough "Winner" sticks is an Easter Island Head tissue dispenser. In the Kingdom Hearts II manga, Roxas was broke because he spent his money on the same item.
- In Sword Art Online Progressive (a retelling of the Aincrad arc) Kirito, after realizing that one belligerent member of the ALS named Joe was the same one who accused Nezha of causing someone's death, curses his inability to remember faces and names, and realizes that someday, that will put him in danger. In the Phantom Bullet arc, which takes place after the Aincrad arc, a plot point is Kirito's inability to recognize which member of Laughing Coffin(a guild Kirito helped dismantle back in Aincrad) is actually Death Gun.
- In the Big Finish Doctor Who Destiny of the Doctor audio drama "Trouble in Paradise", the Sixth Doctor, with considerable and dangerous mental effort, manages to unlock the TARDIS by channeling psychic energy through the goat that ate the TARDIS key. He speculates that, with practice, he might be able to open the TARDIS doors just by thinking about it.
- In the X-Men: First Class oneshot Iceman & Angel, Bobby discusses how totally cool it would be if Warren's wings were made of knives.
- The Noob comic is a Broad Strokes adaptation written by the creator of the webseries of the same name. By the time something gets Foreshadowing in the comic, it usually already happened in the webseries and novels, whose timeline is progressing faster.
- The penultimate story arc of The Punisher MAX dealt with Frank's difficulty adjusting to civilian life, including a fellow soldier saying he couldn't imagine Castle taking his kids on a family picnic.
- In X-Men: The Hidden Years, Mastermind fails to trick Jean Grey by making the Blob look like Cyclops. He concludes that he'd need to come up with a more detailed illusion over a period of time.
- In a Deadpool fake "inventory story", supposedly written in The '70s, Peter Parker chides Flash Thompson (still firmly in his Jerkass persona) for parking in a disabled space. Future Handicapped Badass Flash is callously dismissive of "legless people".
- My Little Pony: Fiendship Is Magic #1:
- Sombra briefly takes the cloudy form that he appears in after his 1000 year imprisonment, which is apparently his true form.
- The red crystal tells Sombra that the Crystal Heart will destroy him if he doesn't take it out of the equation first.
- The second issue of Smite seems to be this.
- In Back To The Future Prequel, young Marty mentions an interest in time travel.
- In Better Angels, a For Want of a Nail fic about Shane Walsh killing Rick Grimes, Shane notes that a person needs to be bitten to turn into a Walker. Due to Rick's demise, the secret that Dr. Jenner told Rick is never revealed, so Shane nor anyone else in the Atlanta group is initially aware, and Shane shoots Rick's head before he can reanimate as Shane did in canon.
- In the rewritten version of Calvin and Hobbes: The Movie, Calvin mentions trying to stuff a portal to another dimensionnote into a cube. He does just that in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series.
- Cadance Of Cloudsdale, being set a few decades before the main series, has quite a few. For example, Cadance mentions that Twilight Sparkle is really dedicated to learning magic, and might make a good student of Celestia'snote .
- The Adventures on the Friendship Express Spin-Off story of Sonic Generations: Friendship is Timeless references Sonic games released after Sonic Generations, such as Sonic: Lost World and Sonic Boom. In addition, keeping in mind that the main story takes place midway through season 3 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (so Twilight Sparkle is not an alicorn princess yet), chapter 7 includes a call forward to the events of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls.
- Queen of All Oni: In one flashback, when Hiruzen posthumously spoke to Tarakudo through his own severed head, Tarakudo found the concept of a floating head fascinating. This implies it inspired his own eventual transformation into a floating head.
- The WWE story, One More Time, takes place in 2005. During the story, Molly Holly asks Eddie Guerrero what his family will do if anything happens to him, sarcastically presenting the idea of Eddie's wife, Vickie, getting a job with WWE.
- The story also has Molly talking about "this girl named Beth" that she helped get placed in OVW.
- The Stalking Zuko Series: a respected Ba Sing Se therapist named Dr. Wang is noted to have a very nice beard that Smellerbee imitates when trying to help Jet talk about his problems. Guess where Sokka got his inspiration for the Wang Fire beard?
- Since Turnabout Storm takes place at a set point in the timeline of Ace Attorney, it was bound to bring up moments from later moments in the series, such as Phoenix's future daughter ("Me with children? That'll be the day."), and his get-up in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney ("What does she think I am, a hobo?").
- The World of the Creatures takes place sometime in September of 2012. At one point, The 10th Doctor mentions not being very well versed in watercolors or beekeeping. The 11th Doctor would express an interest in learning these two hobbies in the May 2013 episode, "The Name of the Doctor." In addition, The Ninth Doctor mentions wanting to learn how to fly a biplane. Eleven would finally get around to scheduling a lesson, but he was side tracked by the events of "The Impossible Astronaut"
- "Remembrance of the Fallen": Commander Haelivthras "Thrass" th'Shvrashli from "The Universe Doesn't Cheat" appears in the internal narrative, in his capacity as Eleya's major advisor.
- "Shakedown Shenanigans": T'Var mentions to Eleya that she's scheduled to take the promotion exam next month and that she's finished some command-level courses. This refers back to her leaving the ship in Bait and Switch to take her first command.
- Sight: When Shinji tells Ichigo that a Visored's Zanpakutou becomes their inner Hollow, Ichigo is horrified at the idea of having to lock Zangetsu away. He is thankful that Zangetsu and Hakuran seem to be seperate aspects of himself. In ''Bleach, it was revealed that "Zangetsu" was the embodiment of Ichigo's Quincy powers and his Inner Hollow is the true Zangetsu.
- In A Voice in the Wilderness, Eleya at one point wonders in her Internal Monologue "how the phekk do you fight something that can jump anywhere it wants?" This is after the Borg are shown using transwarp to Flash Step around the battlefield, and proves a very relevant question in the later Iconian War.
- Guardian references many moments in Final Fantasy X:
- One of the orphans seen on Lulu's home island is clearly meant to be Paine.
- Lulu speaks of "going home" after Ginnem's pilgrimage and goes uncorrected, much as happens with Tidus later.
- Yuna's first performance of the Sending dance references the game FMV.
- In "Wayne Manor", part of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Hearts series, eight-year-old Bruce Wayne and Alfred the butler have a conversation in which Bruce says that he's learned from books that dinner parties often have murders and he's trying to figure out which of the guests at his parents' dinner party would be the murderer. After he dismisses one guest as "too happy":
"Happy people can't be murderers?"
"Only if they're fake happy." Bruce sounded very sure of himself. "Like clowns."
- Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins is full of these, the least of which being Velma referencing the first ever episode of Scooby Doo, Where Are You? at the end by suggesting they check out some "strange happenings at the museum."
- In Quiz Show, a network executive who's being Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee for rigging TV quizzes makes a great show of not being the least bit worried about the impact it will have on the industry even if they are exposed, because people will tune in anyway just to watch the drama unfold. He also suggests that if they can't give the contestants the answers anymore, they can achieve the same results by just making the questions easier.
- Almost Famous has Jimmy Fallon's slimy agent character telling the guys from Stillwater to get themselves paid:
Dennis Hope: "If you think Mick Jagger will still be out there trying to be a rock star at age fifty, then you are sadly, sadly mistaken."
- The opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade featuring River Phoenix as a young Indy is one big Call Forward.
- Plenty in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
- An example would be '70s!Erik's "Imagine if [your claws] were metal" remark to Logan.
- When '70s!Erik goes to retrieve his helmet from the Pentagon, he's shown wearing a fedora and dark suit ensemble very similar to Magneto's civilian appearance in the first X-Men film. He also uses small metal balls, like in X2.
- When Logan passes through a metal detector, he's briefly surprised that it doesn't go off. Doubles as a Call Back to the first X-Men film.
- Used for Dramatic Irony when Trask says to Stryker that by the time the upcoming human-mutant war arrives, his son will be old enough to fight in it. Stryker's son does become a victim of this war, as he's a mutant and his own father turns on him.
- In his New Era Speech, '70s!Magneto mentions "a Brotherhood of our kind."
- In the finale, Beast uses a handful of hypodermic needles of his serum to suppress his mutant genes, in order to hide from a Sentinel's sensors. In the finale of X3: The Last Stand, Beast uses a handful of hypodermic needles of a different serum to suppress Magneto's mutant genes and gain the upper hand on Alcatraz.
- In Iron Man, Ho Yinsen mentions to Tony Stark that they met once before at a conference in Bern, Switzerland. Iron Man 3 begins with a flashback to 1999 (nine years before the events of Iron Man) that shows that initial meeting.
- In The Sponge Bob Movie Sponge Out Of Water, after seeing the chaos Bikini Bottom is in after Krabby Patties are gone, Plankton gloats that he could rule the world with the formula. He does that in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.
- In America, America, set in Turkey in the 1890s, the ruling Turks have just unleashed a violent purge against the Christian Armenians. The Greeks in the village—the other persecuted ethnic minority—comfort themselves by saying that the Armenians' problems aren't their problems. Stavros the protagonist sarcastically asks the Greek elders who they think the Turks will come for next. Almost all the Greeks in Turkey were forcibly expelled after the end of World War I.
- Mon Oncle Antoine is set in a rural Quebec asbestos mining town in the 1940s. The people in the town gripe about the owner of the asbestos mine failing to raise wages for the second consecutive year, while the mine owner makes a great show of riding through town on a sleigh, rather meanly flinging stockings with presents at the local children. In 1949 the Asbestos strike brought great upheaval to Quebec.
- A terrifying one in Commissar, in which a pregnant Red Army commissar stays with a Jewish family during the Russian Civil War, c. 1920. As Yefim is dancing in the cellar to try and calm his children as the rumble of battle comes closer, Klavdia has a vision of the Magazanniks, wearing the Jewish star, being led into a Nazi concentration camp.
- While watching an orc gladiator called Thrall fight in Durnholde Keep, the titular character in Arthas: Rise of the Lich King worries that if the orc escapes, he could teach his considerable tactical and strategical skills to other orcs, triggering the orcs' resurgence as a major faction in Azeroth. Another Warcraft Expanded Universe novel, Lord of the Clans, features Thrall doing exactly that.
- The two books are written by the same woman, Christie Golden, and the reference is a rare not-very-disruptive tidbit of Author Appeal.
- The Provost's Dog series by Tamora Pierce is set two hundred years before current Tortall continuity. The second book in particular, Bloodhound, is rife with references to locations, nations and noble families that feature heavily in the other Tortall books. One notable example is Sir Lionel of Trebond, the ancestor of the heroine of the first ever Tortall series, Song of the Lioness. Luckily she doesn't inherit his personality, though.
- Quite a few in Terry Pratchett's Night Watch, such as when a time-travelling Vimes inadvertently gives CMOT Dibbler the idea for his trademark Catch Phrase.
- In the foreword of Agatha Christie's short story collection The Labours of Hercules (1947), Hercule Poirot expresses a desire to retire to the country and grow vegetable marrows - exactly how he's spending his retirement in The Murder of Roger Akroyd (1926).
- In Robert E. Howard's "Black Colossus" Conan the Barbarian is told that his new harness makes him look better than many kings, and the narrator explicitly tells us he will remember that years later.
- The idea for "The Tower of the Elephant" seems to have occurred to Howard while he was completing revisions on "The Phoenix on the Sword." The final draft of "The Phoenix on the Sword" contains the phrase "Zamora with its... towers of spider-haunted mystery," mirroring a scene that would appear in "The Tower of the Elephant."
- Warhammer 40,000 has the Horus Heresy series of novels, which details the titular event about 10,000 years before the "current day" of the game that permanently crippled the Imperium, and lead to the current state of the setting. All throughout the series, this trope occurs many, many times.
- The very first chapter, beside being a sort of framing device for the series, was essentially a giant You Should Know This Already moment.
- In one of the BIONICLE: Adventures books, which is a Flashback series, one of the characters mentions that he hopes he'll never have to see the creepy Bohrok again after chancing upon their nest. A Bohrok invasion happened 1000 years later — two years prior in real-time.
- There are several of these in the Diogenes Club series, which wasn't written in chronological order.
- In "Sorcerer, Conjurer, Wizard, Witch", set in The Thirties, Charles Beauregard, dealing with yet another Great Enchanter, wonders vaguely if they "crawl fully grown from filthy water". We don't learn if this is the case for Colonel Zenf, but it certainly is for his successor in The '80s, Derek Leech, who according to The Quorum emerged from the pollution of the Thames in precisely this manner in 1961 (according to "Cold Snap", immediately after Zenf's death).
- "Cold Snap" itself contains multiple calls-forward, since it ties all of Newman's contemporary fantasy/horror novels into the Diogenes Club timeline by way of appearances from significant characters but is set before most of said novels.
- In The Serial Murders, Richard Jeperson meets an annoying parapsychologist named Adam Onions who works for an outfit called IΨT ("I-Psi-T", pronounced like "Eyesight"). IΨT first appeared in Jago and Onions features in Swellhead, both of which are set after The Serial Murders but were written earlier.
- Indiana Jones and the Peril at Delphi: A young Indiana Jones touches the Omphalos stone and has visions of his adult life from the first three movies.
- The Infernal Devices:
- Magnus tells Tessa he has a thing for people with blue eyes and black hair. Who has blue eyes and black hair? Alec from The Mortal Instruments!
- Also, Henry talking about inventing the Sensor.
- Remember City of Fallen Angels when Jace sleeps in the Silent City and sees initials scratched onto the wall? Clockwork Prince reveals that those stood for "Jessamine Gray."
- Magnus says to a probable ancestor of Alec “All Lightwoods look the same to me—”.
- In the prequel to The Tripods, there's a scene where the protagonist, Laurie, looks up at the sky and wonders if sometime in the future, other humans will look up at the sky and 'dream of freedom'. This is a callback to a scene in the first book where Will, Henry and Beanpole find themselves looking up at the sky after they arrive in at the mountain resistance base.
- In the first Torchwood novel, Another Life, set early in the first season, but published the following year, Ianto hears Owen use the word "cybersex", and briefly panics, before realising it's nothing to do with his secret.
- At the end of the third book in the Brian Daley Han Solo trilogy Han and Chewie - broke as usual - decide to convince Jabba the Hutt to hire them for another Kessel Run.
- Doctor Who Expanded Universe:
- An interesting example in Harvest of Time has the Third Doctor and Delgado Master discover that aliens are capturing incarnations of the Master from past, future and alternate timelines. It's mentioned that some of them have a ghoulish appearance, which is obviously a reference to the Pratt/Beevers Master and possibly the skull version of the Simms Master (and there's a more direct reference to a young-looking incarnation with "the face of a politician"). But it's also mentioned that some of them are female, which looks like a nod to a certain future incarnation ... except the book was published the previous year, so it's just a coincidence.
- "Engines of War":
- Borusa as the "possibility engine" gains omniscience and omnipotence by absorbing the Time Vortex, just like Rose as the Bad Wolf. He also uses his power to wipe an army of Daleks from existence.
- Rassilon inquires if "the Doctor" has managed to track down The Master. Which he won't, until due time. Rassilon even points out he "Saw into the eye of the war."
- It's explicitly mentioned that Rassilon goes rat-tat-tat-tat with his gauntlet's fingers.
- There's a weapon the Time Lords think can stop the war. It's first thought to be The Moment from the Omega arsenal.
- In the First Doctor short story "The Book of Shadows" by Jim Mortimore, the Doctor finds out that part of the reason there's a terrible knot of paradoxes in 2nd century Alexandria is because of a book from his homeworld that is actually a powerful time travel artifact. The book was taken back in time from the 20th century to Alexandria, but what he doesn't understand is who took it to Earth in the first place. (And since the entire timeline gets unhappened, he never has a chance to find out).
- The Past Doctor Adventures novel The Time Travellers is set during Season 1, in a nineties London that was destroyed because the Doctor didn't stop WOTAN in Season 3. It also contains references to Cybermen in the Antarctic and The Daleks invading in 1963.
- In The Bridge of San Luis Rey, set in the 18th century, the Abbess Maria wonders if some language can't be invented for deaf-mutes.
- In The ABC Murders, Hastings alludes to Poirot wearing false moustaches. In Curtain, he reveals that he is wearing a fake moustache.
Live Action TV
- Angel: A flashback to WWII in the episode "Why We Fight" contained the following dialogue (they were stuck on a submarine at the time):
Angel: I'm not getting trapped at the bottom of the sea!Spike: And I'm not getting experimented on by the government!
- This becomes even more awesome if you've paid attention. Angel was drafted by the then-new Initiative, who does the aforementioned experimenting on Spike in 1999 or 2000 and the experiment is hinted to be based off the Nazi research the US was trying to get off that ship, which Spike torched. Spike also wears the Nazi uniform because he likes the jacket, a call forward to the history of his famous leather duster, which was also taken from the corpse of an enemy. Also, weights are used to sink Angel to the bottom of the sea, much like what his son Connor would do to him almost 60 years later. Spike being forced to rush for cover before sunrise before he gets burned up is a call forward to the running gag of him running through Sunnydale, on fire, to get places during daylight on the parent show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- In Spike's first appearance, Giles mentions that he got his nickname by driving railroad spikes through his victims' heads. Three seasons later, "Fool For Love" reveals that, before he became a vampire, Spike was a fop best known for his atrocious poetry; one of his "critics" claims that he'd rather have a railroad spike driven through his head than listen to it. Apparently, he got his wish...
- "Arrow": In a flashback, Oliver hides his identity by putting his hood up, leaving another character to sarcastically remark that he'd still be recognisable even if he covered his face in greasepaint. This is a reference to Oliver's early-season costume, before he started wearing a mask, and doubles as a Take That, Us.
- Breaking Bad:
- Done in one episode, and rather fiendishly. Jane, via flashback: "That was so sweet, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little..." Jane died by asphyxiating on her own vomit
- In a flashback, Hector Salamanca sits on a wooden chair that oddly looks like a wheelchair. In present day, Hector is invalid.
- Doctor Who: In the episode "Flesh and Stone", River Song unwittingly references her own death in her future from last season.
- And it happened again in "The Impossible Astronaut." Rather more poignantly this time around.
- River Song is prone to these, due to the extremely timey-wimey nature of her time-line. Like how in "The Wedding of River Song", where the Doctor is (apparently) about to die; River says that 'Time can be rewritten', with the Doctor responding "Don't you dare," the same thing she said at her death. And the way that she knocked the Doctor out and hand-cuffed him to take his place in a Heroic Sacrifice was exactly the same thing her mum, Amy did, in "The Eleventh Hour".
- Quite a few show up in The Day of The Doctor.
- The 10th Doctor says, "I don't wanna go."
- At one point, 10 finds 11's fez. And puts it on.
- "I hope the ears are a bit less conspicuous this time around."
- Downton Abbey: Mrs Hughes does a corker when it comes to this trope; it's so bad that millions of fans still smack their hands to their heads when they hear it. "What if there's a flood? What if there's a war?" - that line is in 1913... and we ALL know that 1914 brings said war that she used in her example.
- Friends: A flashback has Ross proudly tell his parents that his new girlfriend is really athletic; she's on the lacrosse team and the golf team. Yes, Carol "plays for both teams"...
- ...but it's stated numerous times that she's a lesbian.
- True, but it's implied that Carol and Susan begin dating while she is still with Ross, so there may have been a period of bisexuality.
- Plus Carol kissed Ross when Susan had to work on Valentine's Day.
- Friends has loads, especially in their first flashback episode: Phoebe mentions that "cute naked guy" was starting to put on some weight, Ross is excited about Carol befriending "a Susan something" and encourages her to have a "girl's night", Chandler says he doesn't wanna have a roommate handsome enough to relegate him (Chandler) as "the funny one", Monica runs into Rachel and then bets she's never gonna see her again, the gang (then consisting of four of the six main characters) comment on how the bar is closing and wonder where are they going to hang out...
- In "The One With All The Thanksgivings", there's a flashback where a teenage Monica has a crush on Chandler and makes him som mac'n'cheese for Thanksgiving dinner. Afterward she asks if he liked it, and he somewhat sarcastically remarks, "Yeah, it was great. You should be a chef." Monica giggles and says, "Okay!"
- ...but it's stated numerous times that she's a lesbian.
- Home Improvement: On one episode, Tim shows the audience the pilot episode of Tool Time to celebrate the show's fifth anniversary. The pilot consisted of a bearded Tim and clean-shaven Al, who also had complete faith in "an expert like Tim" wielding a giant sledgehammer while Al held the stake...
- Little House on the Prairie: One episode, set in the late 1800s, has a serious example. A Jewish man tells his son, Percival, that their people have to make sure to keep their culture alive because for centuries people have tried to destroy their people. Percival dismisses this by saying that "People are more educated now. That kind of craziness won't happen again." What makes this even more notable is the fact that Percival is probably the most intelligent and sensible character in the episode, maybe the entire series.
- Well, Percival was right in his suspicion that "that kind of craziness" wouldn't happen in America, which is where they are and (presumably) where they're going to stay.
- Lost: In the episode "Meet Kevin Johnson," Sayid becomes violently angry at Michael because he is working for Ben. Of course, we learned five episodes earlier that in the future Sayid himself will be working for Ben.
- Mad Men: A staple, with respect to Real Life historical events. The unfortunate scheduling of Roger Sterling's daughter's wedding for November 23, 1963 (the day after John F. Kennedy's assassination) is merely the most blatant.
- One that stands out as particularly funny to New Yorkers is the time Peggy considers the impending construction of the Second Avenue Line to be a serious plus for buying a new apartment on the Upper East Side in Season 6 (1968). The Second Avenue Line only broke ground in 2007, and is optimistically expected to open in 2016.
- Merlin: In an early episode, whilst watching Arthur and Lancelot share a drink together, Merlin jokingly invites Guinevere to play a game of "Who Would You Rather?" She laughs and states that she'll never have to chose between them. Only the audience knows that one day she'll have to do exactly this, and that the entire future of Camelot may rise or fall on her choice.
- Murdoch Mysteries: Used to throw these in once in a while in relation to future Real Life events, but the writers are getting pretty heavy-handed in Season 5 to the point where it's happening at least Once per Episode. And they're not being very subtle either. In a recent episode Detective Murdoch and Constable Crabtree are pondering the possible uses of a sonically-activated switch used to execute the Murder of the Week which actually turns out to be an elaborate suicide:
Crabtree: Perhaps one day you could turn lights on and off by clapping your hands.
- NCIS: The episode "Baltimore" has flashbacks to how Gibbs and DiNozzo met when DiNozzo was a Baltimore detective. The episode is littered with Call Forwards.
Tony DiNozzo: Be a Navy cop? I'd rather have the plague.
Ducky: I've had it up to here with cadavers. To be honest, if I never see another dead body again, it'll be too soon.[...]Ducky: Do I look like the bow tie type to you?Maggie: Well, it's time to update your wardrobe. You're a medical doctor, not Doctor Who.
- The episode "So It Goes" features flashbacks of a younger Ducky in the 1960s with several ironic call-forwards:
Coach Tanner: "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli." The Godfather? Come on, kid, it's a classic.
- "Cadence" has a flashback of teenaged DiNozzo in military school failing to get a movie reference:
- Once Upon a Time: When Snow meets Red for the first time, she's not yet sure she can trust her so she throws out three different aliases- "Frosty," "Margaret," and "Mary." "Mary Margaret" ends up being the name of her counterpart in Storybrooke.
- Poirot: At the end of "The Blue Train"; one of the characters expresses a desire to travel, and remarks that she's booked passage on the Orient Express. She inquires whether Poirot has ridden that train; Poirot replies that he hasn't but he must get around to it some day. We all know that he will, and what will happen when he does...
- Revolution: In episode 10, in a flashback to the Trenton Campaign (that happened 10 years ago), Monroe jokes that they will run out of bullets and will have to use swords like pirates. He was right.
- Smallville: Constantly. Yes, we get it, he's going to be Superman.
- Stargate SG-1: This occurs in a season eight episode, but in this case the reference is to the spin-off series Stargate Atlantis. After the Atlantis team goes through the gate to the Pegasus galaxy, those on Earth have had no contact from them and don't know what they've found on the other side. The audience, having watched the other series, does know: they're in the Lost City, which is actually a city-sized spaceship that until recently was at the bottom of an ocean. However, in response to the assumption that the Atlantis team found the Lost City, Dr. Novak states, "As far as we know, the Atlantis team found another outpost like the one in Antarctica. Could be on a moon, or at the bottom of some deep, dark ocean."
- The Tudors:
- In season one, Henry VIII says to Anne Boleyn, "Your neck. I love your neck." Everyone who knows the history - or Googles Anne Boleyn - knows that in season two he'll be paying a French swordsman to sever that neck.
- On meeting Catherine Howard, Henry asks her if she can write. She tells him "enough to write a letter". It is her love letter to Culpepper that eventually gets her killed.
- This might be a drinking game in Gotham which includes Oswald Cobblepot hating being nicknamed "The Penguin", Edward Nigma having a mug with a question mark on it, a young Bruce Wayne expressing his disgust from a vigilant who kills criminals...
- In a flashback on Open Heart, Dylan helps her dad find his keys in the mass of newspaper clippings he’s investigating. He jokes that it was a test to see if she could be a detective. Now that he’s disappeared, she seems to have taken that advice to heart.
- Lupe Fiasco's The Die (A prequel to The Cool) combines this with Continuity Nod— Michael Young History's unnamed friend says "And if them niggas do kill you in the next few minutes, just remember my nigga, it's a heaven for a G," a reference to "The Cool" (Michael Young History)'s line "Hustler for death, no Heaven for a gangster" in the first CD.
- For Dino Attack RPG, a number of Call Forwards were made in the short story First Assignment:
- Williams, Lisa, and Batman were introduced via the Final Battle's comm chatter, while Walker made a brief cameo appearance. Williams, Lisa, and Walker all appear in First Assignment, with Batman given a mention. Rick and Trouble (and possibly Stranger) make early appearances as well.
- Walker suggests the nickname "Adventure" to Rick, who later goes by that nickname in At War's End. Similarly, Rick bestows the nickname "honcho" upon Rex, which is what he always called Rex in At War's End.
- Rick mentions the original Headquarters Squad and Ronald E. Army. Rex also finds a deli called Tzenovich's Sandwiches, possibly the same shop opened up by Ivan Tzenovich.
- tells other agents to stop making references prompting another Dino Attack agent to respond with a Monty Python's Flying Circus quote, just like a similar discussion that took place during the Final Battle's comm chatter. The comm chatter mentions Condr, Mutant Vinscale Octomus, ShadowTech, the Raptors gang, a train that still runs, and rotten eggs in the Res-Q Station, which are all elements from the early days of Dino Attack RPG. The comm chatter also features a Dino Attack agent who
- The entire scene with Rex and Trouble in the deli takes place on Playwell Avenue. In the Final Battle, Playwell Avenue was the site where Trouble sacrifices himself to save Rex, making this a retroactive case of bittersweet Book Ends.
- We Are Our Avatars: Apparently, Avance worked on the Nekroz armors when he was younger.
- Wicked has some straight mythology gags like Elphaba's line "I'll be so happy I could melt," but also a less comedic instance: her vision of "a celebration throughout Oz that's all to do with me."
Nessarose: What's in the punch?Boq: Lemons and melons and pears-Nessarose: Oh my.
- Peter and the Starcatcher (a prequel to Peter Pan) has a gag with the boys, when they're lost:
Boys: We're lost!Molly: (scolding them for their outburst) Boys!Boys: We're lost!Molly: Boys!
- Anastasia in Shadow Hearts: Covenant notes that there might be trouble if her parents don't improve their relationship with their people. The Anastasia in question is Princess Anastasia Romanova. Covenant takes place in 1915. The only saving grace is that history in the Shadow Hearts universe is vastly different from ours, giving her at least a chance at not getting put against the wall in 1917...
- Fire Emblem: Blazing Blade is a prequel to the previous game, Fire Emblem: Binding Blade, and feature a few foreshadowing moments. Since Blazing Blade was the first game to be released in the west, while Binding Blade was never released, western players who weren't researching the previous game were a little confused. One major example is that Prince Zephiel, a character the heroes must protect in Blazing Blade, grows up to become the antagonist of Binding Blade.
- Another big example is the appearance of Sophia near the end of Blazing Blade; without knowing that she's a major character in Binding Blade and important to the story, western players generally take her for a random cute girl that gives the hero an item after some mysterious dialog.
- Another one is the appearance of the Manakete Fae in chapter 22. She's in the NPC house, and Hawkeye says her name if he goes in there.
- Another big example is the appearance of Sophia near the end of Blazing Blade; without knowing that she's a major character in Binding Blade and important to the story, western players generally take her for a random cute girl that gives the hero an item after some mysterious dialog.
- Final Fantasy XII's Bestiary gives a brief mention of the beginnings of Final Fantasy Tactics's dominant Church of Glabados and its false prophet/demonic founder, Saint Ajora. This mention causes a bit of a translation plot hole, as Ajora is a woman in the Japanese version and a man in English. FFT itself had a bit of trouble with Ajora's gender as well.
- Other plot holes exist here as well. FFXII takes place too far in the past for Ajora to have existed yet, the 13 Espers have not yet become the 12 (+1) Lucavi that Ajora used to cause the events she would eventually be worshipped for....
- In Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, Vergil acquires the Beowulf gauntlets and pulls off some rather... impressive martial arts. The game is a prequel to the first one. In the first game, after the first Nelo Angelo fight, the boss drops his sword and gets the drop on Dante with his bare hands. Nelo Angelo is actually Vergil.
- Sam & Max: Freelance Police:
Past Sam: Max and I need to get to the Moon. How do we get there?Present Sam: Why don't you just drive there? (as they do in episode 106)Past Sam: You can't just drive to the Moon, bonehead.Past Max: Sheesh, Sam... our future selves have no respect for plausibility.
- Episode 204, "Chariots of the Dogs", has you visit the office shortly into the future, at which point you exchange a remote control for an egg. You exchange the egg for the remote control in episode 205.
- Also from episode 204: when the past Sam and Max (from episode 102) confront their present selves:
- In the end of the second Mega Man (Classic) arcade game, Wily reveals that he's working on his ultimate robot, while Bass just snarks that it's girly-looking and will be a loser like all of Wily's other non-Bass robots. The player can, naturally, see Zero's silhouette.
- After showing off his skills in car combat, a character in Interstate '76 (set in The '70s) says "Damn, I'm so good, they should name a car after me." His name? Taurus.
- In Day of the Tentacle, Hoagie gets stuck two centuries in the past and, in an attempt to get back to his own time, aids Ben Franklin in the discovery of electric current. In return, Franklin promises to name one of his inventions after him.
- Being the source of one of the page quotes, Quest for Glory has a couple of such Call Forwards. In Quest for Glory II, two of the Magic User's potential sponsors shown are a completely black portrait (identified as the "Dark Master"), and Erana (when chosen, the Wizards say that she hasn't answered their summons for some time and asks you to choose again). Quest for Glory IV reveals both the identity of the Dark Master, and what exactly happened to Erana.
- Taken a step further in the fan remake; if you insist upon having the Dark Master as your mentor, you get a Non Standard Game Over where the Wizards get so incensed that they teleport you to Mordavia, the setting of QFG4, and your Have a Nice Death message mentions that you aren't strong enough to survive there.
- The (official) remake of the first QFG just goes all out if you examine the Black Bird statue in the Brigand leader's office, which gives a message that says you can somehow sense your fate is tied to the bird and you'll see it again in future games. Naturally, the Black Bird (a parody of The Maltese Falcon) is featured in every subsequent game and forms a critical part of the Thief's storyline.
- ALLTYNEX Second is completely littered with these.
- A now-removed quest-chain in World of Warcraft has a character in Stormwind sarcastically utter the phrase "Next you're going to tell me that Deathwing is still alive and attacking the city." Guess what happened when the Cataclysm expansion was released...
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable : The Gears of Destiny, which is set between Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's and Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, has Chrono musing about how Nanoha's a natural at testing prototype weapons and namedrops the currently-in-development Blaster System, an upgrade that would eventually serve as Nanoha's Super Mode in StrikerS
- Syndicate's reboot has quite a few. Amongst these are the co-op missions taking place in areas the original games used. The Western Europe map shown in the demo is broadly similar to the original's in having to kill a Colonel, although resistance is much stiffer here.
- In the VGA remake of Space Quest, the Time Pod from Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers lands as you leave Ulence Flats.
- In the best ending of The Art of Theft Trilby decides to go back to England and start breaking into manors of the recently deceased, figuring it would be safer. He does this in 5 Days A Stranger: it backfires horribly.
- Grand Theft Auto III featured an 80s hits station called Flashback 95.6, which was hosted by a woman named Toni. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, which takes place in The '80s, has her hosting a pop station called "Flash". Some of the comments she makes on Flash are also Call Forwards to some she makes on Flashback.
- Metroid: Other M is a prequel to Fusion. Adam's initial, human form is seen here, as well as Nightmare. It also explains how Ridley ended up as a frozen husk on the BSL in Fusion- Ridley was actually Killed Off for Real in Super Metroid, and the Federation accidentally cloned him. This clone was sucked dry by a Metroid Queen. The husk and Nightmare's body are missing in the Playable Epilogue, most likely being moved to the BSL.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future: Polnareff, surprisingly, has a few references to Part 5 in him. His Level 3 super has a Stand Arrow fly out of nowhere and turn Silver Chariot into Chariot Requiem, putting the opponent to sleep while Polnareff remarks that he can "feel fate within the bow and arrow." (If you want to be technical, the Arrow could also reference Part 4, where it debuts.) Furthermore, one of his win quotes is "We'll meet again, in Italy."
- In Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle, Chemi'n, before being woken from his trance, says "The blonde will be our saviour." Irrelevant to this game, but a reference to Sunny, the protagonist of the game it was spun off from. Morgane's comment after talking to Brainless Beauty Sonia, when she says she's "developing a real hatred for idiotic blondes", also references her own future interaction with Sunny.
- In the remake of the first Resident Evil, Wesker carries a note from William Birkin in which he describes how superior the G-virus is to the T-virus and how he is looking forward to putting Alexia in her place.
- In Persona Q, Sharp-Dressed Man Akihiko notes that he likes the outfit that Phantom Mage Shadows wear, which is a long cape with a hood. This is a nod to his inexplicable shirtless cape attire in Persona 4: Arena, which takes place two years later.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas The Pumpkin King has some of this due to being a video game Prequel to The Nightmare Before Christmas. Aside from the opening cutscene establishing that the story takes place long before Jack discovered Christmas, the ending cutscene has Sally first meet Jack and fall in love with him and Oogie Boogie swearing revenge against Jack, both of which foreshadow Sally's crush on Jack Skellington and Oogie's battle with Jack in the movie.
- In Chapter 3 of Gunnerkrigg Court, Antimony defends her friend Kat from a bully by Judo-flipping him. One of the teachers, Mr. Eglamore, tells Annie that was against the rules, and then he compliments her throw and tells her that it was noble to stand up for her friend. In Chapter 22, a Whole Episode Flashback shows the young Eglamore getting into a fight in defense of his friends, and receiving a similar warning and compliment from Mr. Thorn.
- Since it's set as a prequel to Metal Gear Solid, The Last Days of FOXHOUND has these a few times. Vulcan Raven even does it in character, since he can see a limited amount of the future, and teases Ocelot on whether or not his hand will get chopped off.
- A common source of humor in Darths & Droids, as it is an alternate take on the Star Wars universe; for instance, when Anakin and Chancellor Palpatine have just fallen down an elevator shaft, the Chancellor quips, "This is fun. Perhaps I'll install a huge bottomless pit in my quarters for no apparent reason." Considering how the Canon Palpatine meets his end...
- Roommates has some pages (like this) dedicated to the childhood of Jareth and the whole thing is this for Labyrinth, when it isn't Foreshadowing the comic. On the linked page his mother uses the same monologue that becomes his undoing and small Jareth says the words that "will" become the title song.
- One episode of The Simpsons features a flashback to Grampa's time in World War II. When Burns suggests stealing some Nazi paintings, Grampa rationalizes it by saying he needs to put away some money for retirement, after all he'd hate to be put in one of those homes...
- In the flashback episode "I Married Marge", after Homer is first hired by Mr. Burns to work at the power plant, Burns comments to Smithers: "Simpson, eh? I'll remember that name."
- In "The Way We Was," Homer's guidance counselor suggests Homer work at the newly-opened nuclear power plant. Homer laughs the idea off.
- The Teen Titans episode "Go!" is practically made up of these. Notable ones include Cyborg saying "I'm only gonna say this once—Booya!" and the team stopping by an island (that of course will eventually house their headquarters) and Cyborg comments that "somebody should build a house out here."
- Batman Beyond: There were a few during the two-parter that led to the Justice League series. One in particular has Old!Bruce mentioning he was never fond of travelling via boom tube. In a Darkseid-related episode of Justice League, we see him use one and, yep, he looks ready to collapse afterwards. Most of the guys we see using them in the DCAU are Physical Gods.
- In the Family Guy episode where Peter tells Death how he is devoted to Lois, Quagmire mentions how he hopes Peter will find her again. Peter responds that he hopes Quagmire lives next door to him someday.
- At the end of "Stu and Stuie's Excellent Adventure", Meg calls forward on her transition to a male in the future by learning that a boy she was courting at the public pool was named Ron, and then commenting on how she always liked that name.
- An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island possibly does this with what Fievel says at the beginning:
Fievel: I dreamed that we moved out West where I became a famous gunslinger!
Tanya: Yeah, like that would ever happen.
Fievel: It seemed real to me!
- In the Code Lyoko prequel episode "XANA Awakens":
- In the near end of this two-parter, Odd remarks that "Sissi is going to give them a lot of grief."
- Jim makes a mocking remark about a giant teddy bear. One shows up in he first episode of the series.
- In Batman: The Animated Series, Zatara and Zatanna are training the young "John Smith" in escape artistry.
Zatanna: Pick a card and I'll tell you your future. Mm, I see intrigue, danger, mystery. Two of hearts?"John": Joker.
- In the non-canon American Dad! episode "Rapture's Delight", Stan is left on a post-Rapture Earth in the future and fights the Antichrist to get into Heaven. Two seasons later, in "Season's Beatings" Stan fights the Antichrist as a child in the present, then at the end of the episode when they get rid of him by giving him to Sarah Palin, he warns Stan that he'll see him again when the Rapture comes.
- One episode of Dragons: Race to the Edge has Ruffnut comment that she's never witnessed two boys competing for the same girl, a nod to how How to Train Your Dragon 2 featured both Snotlout and Fishlegs trying to win her over.
- This is done in Biker Mice from Mars in the flashback sequences of the three-part episode "Once Upon a Time on Mars", which depicted Throttle, Vinnie, and Modo fighting back against the Plutarkians before they left Mars and ended up on Earth at the beginning of the series. When Limburger and Karbunkle search a monitor for villains with the intent of hiring one to help them take over Mars, the villains shown on the monitor consist of foes that the Biker Mice would later battle, including the Pit Boss and Evil Eye Weevil. Another example occurs when Limburger is crushed by the collapsing of Dominic T. Stilton's fortress and comments that such a thing can get very annoying after a while, referencing the show's Running Gag of Limburger Plaza being destroyed at the end of every episode.
- Gravity Falls has a pretty strong continuity, so it's pretty common to see these whenever the story goes into the past, either by Time Travel or flashback;
- In "The Time Traveler's Pig", Dipper and Mabel end up on a wagon for Oregon settlers, and someone yells, "For Trembly!" In "Irrational Treasure" Quentin Trembly was revealed to be not just the town founder, but one-time president as well. When they run by the future Mystery Shack in the past, a man who looks like Stan opens the door to see what just came by.
- In "Blendin's Game", when Dipper and Mabel time-travel ten years into the past, there are plenty tucked away into the background. At the Mystery Shack, Stan is heard showing off a set of wax statues he got, ("Headhunters") Soos is getting a keyboard with sound effects, ("Headhunters", "Double Dipper"), and most tellingly, an ad for Bud Gleeful's car lot shows Bud having a "Just Had a Baby Sale". ("The Hand That Rocks the Mabel")